Beauty & The Bump: How To Look Your Best While Pregnant

Photographed by Heather Talbert.
It's been said that the fabled "pregnancy glow" — supple skin, lustrous locks — is that magical time when soon-to-be moms are noticeably radiant. But, of course, carrying a baby isn’t exactly easy street for the entire nine months. (Stretch marks, anyone?) So, to ensure that you get the best advice on what to expect when you're expecting, we reached out to a gal who’s going through the exact same thing, right now.
Meet Michi Marshall, philanthropist, fashion designer, boutique owner, and wife of Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Despite having a full plate and twins on the way, the go-getter has managed to keep up her polished wardrobe and meticulous beauty routine. That's why she's the perfect fellow mom-to-be to provide pointers, from simple makeup tricks that'll perk up a tired face to tips for achieving radiant skin regardless of raging hormones. You’ll appreciate her expert advice — even if you’re not preggers.
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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed since becoming pregnant, and how do you deal with it?
"[I've] actually had an amazing pregnancy. As long as you embrace your changes and do not do anything drastic to your normal routine, it will be minimally invasive. But, the most obvious change, of course, is my belly growing so very early on. I used the Belly Bandit, and I swear by it. I did not wait to get big to get some additional back and belly support. I even think it helped to prevent stretch marks, too. We'll see — fingers crossed!"

eBay-purchased Army fatigues, custom-made Timberland Boots.
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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Did you discover any amazing beauty benefits from your pregnancy?
"I never had a six pack or anything even similar, so I loved showing off my tight stomach for once. No bra or underwear creases, or Spanx, and all belly. It's a beautiful thing!"

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
What has your skincare routine been like during your pregnancy?
"My skincare routine is exactly the same. I use Burt's Bees White Tea Facial Cleansing Towelettes morning and night. But, I have definitely upped my Chapstick use and water intake!"

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Since you have both African-American and Japanese heritage, what beauty tips can you share from the perspective of both ethnicities?
"In beauty, you always want to play up your naturally unique or pronounced features. The less effort, the better. From my Asian heritage, I have slanted eyes, so a nice eyeliner or cat-eye looks great — especially so close to the lash. I also sometimes use a white liner or shadow in the corner of my eyes to highlight. My African-American background gives me great cheekbones and full lips, so I enjoy contouring my cheekbones and always playing with colors on my lips."

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
What can we expect from your soon-to-open boutique, YUKI? What’s behind the name?
"Yuki means snow in Japanese. It was my grandmother's name. [She] passed away at 93 in 2010. I love my heritage and incorporate Asian fusion in just about everything I create. YUKI — a luxury women's boutique in Chicago's Gold Coast — will open in the fall of 2015 and will offer apparel and accessories from cutting-edge designers, as well as hand-selected statement pieces by yours truly. I will also be incorporating and designing a private label of leggings within the first year of opening."

Akira sweater, Christian Roth glasses.
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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
You have a degree in psychology and criminal justice. What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
"I have always been a student of fashion. For as long as I can remember, I was modeling and styling myself and others. So, I decided to go back to school to learn about the fashion industry from the bottom up, with a goal to open my own store and begin a private label."

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
What are some of your top tips for dressing stylishly with a bump?
"I thought dressing with a bump would be tragic, but it's actually fun. When you get pregnant, your sexy doesn't end; your style doesn't have to change; and you do not need to revamp your wardrobe. Get a few everyday yoga leggings from Target, a few higher-end maternity leggings that won't fade from Topshop or Nordstrom, and maybe a pair of maternity jeans from J Brand or rag & bone, depending on your growth.

"Organize your closet, ranging from things that fit you loosely to more tightly. Note that loose dresses and pyramid or trapeze tops with no structure make you look much bigger than you are, so stay away from those. Don't rule out looking in the plus-sized section for stylish, cute clothing, or even in the men's department or your husband's closet! I love my [husband's] V-necks and plaid button-downs."

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Being pregnant can take a toll on a woman’s body. Are you using any particular products to keep your skin in check?
"I was given a Spoiled Mama early-pregnancy gift basket from a friend, and oh, boy, does it spoil! I love the Bump Gloss and Tummy Butter; it doesn't stain and makes my skin so soft. Also, I don't have any stretch marks yet, and I'm at eight months with twins! I even love the Aloe Cucumber Leg Gel when I wear heels. Yes, I'm still in my heels until my feet begin to hurt or it snows. I use the Leg Gel at night to soothe my feet."

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Some women cut their hair or take drastic measures once they become pregnant. What have you been doing to maintain your gorgeous tresses? Have you noticed any significant changes?
"My hair was short and platinum blond when I found out I was pregnant. I have naturally dark hair, so that could have been a challenge, especially because I change my color and hairstyle like the weather changes seasons! So, I enlisted Kenyon at Time Hair Gallery — a great hairstylist here in Chicago — and we crank out new styles with some added help from Indique extensions. I love my Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo when I need a little volume, and my CHI Flat Iron for bed head."

Kurt Geiger pumps.
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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Do you have any homemade beauty treatments that you swear by?
"Coconut oil is amazing for everything — cooking; moisturizing your skin, hair, nails; and it smells great! Also, my amazing husband taught me that wrapping my ankle with sprain tape when it swells (for some reason, only one ankle swells) helps to release the fluid and pressure from settling in my ankle. A definite perk of being married to a professional athlete, for sure!"

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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
Any plans for a go-to beauty routine once your babies have arrived?
"I will not have time for a mani-pedi/hair-salon beauty day every Friday as I've always done, so I will need to improvise. I'm contemplating continuing to grow my hair out and possibly getting gel manicures so I can last a few more days before my regular routine."

Sandro dress, Kurt Geiger pumps.
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Photographed by Heather Talbert.
What’s the best pregnancy advice you've received, and who gave it to you?
"My doctor gave me the best advice: 'You're not eating for two or, in my case, three. You're eating for one adult and two itty-bitty persons. Eat healthy, watch your portions, and stay as active as possible!' Best advice, ever!"